May 8, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
The Cal State Northridge Matadors (20-26, 3-12 Big West) surrendered three early runs and ran into tough pitching all game in a 5-1 loss to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (20-21, 6-9 Big West) on Sunday at Matador Field.
Before the game, players from both teams honored their mothers with roses at home plate as the Matadors played the Mother's Day game wearing eye "pink," pink spikes and pink shoelaces to raise awareness about breast cancer.
UC Santa Barbara came out strong from the first pitch, scoring twice in the first inning against Matador starter Carlos Gonzalez, Jr. (1-3). A bases loaded single with one out by Trevor Whyte scored the first Gaucho run and the second was forced across after Gonzalez hit his second batter of the inning with the bases loaded.
The Gauchos added another run to go ahead 3-0 in the top of the second inning after the leadoff man singled and Derek Eligio was hit by a pitch. With one out, Sean Williams doubled down the left field line to score Steven Moon from third base and Mark Haddow was intentionally walked to load the bases. Gonzalez recovered, however, by getting Whyte to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Despite committing three errors in the game, the Matador defense looked extremely sharp at points in the game. In the top of the sixth inning, Williams singled to right center field with one out. To keep the ball in front of him, centerfielder Andrew Muren slid behind the ball and backhanded it with his glove before popping to his feet and throwing a strike to shortstop Tommy Simis to cut down Williams at second base.
In the home half of the sixth, Northridge used the rhythm to score a run of its own after Joshua Goossen-Brown led off and singled through the left side to give the Matadors their first base runner since Muren's single in the first inning. TS Reed sacrifice bunted Goossen-Brown to second and Ridge Carpenter reached base on a catcher's interference call.
Chris Allen walked to bring up Muren, who hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field that scored Goossen-Brown from third and cut the deficit to 3-1.
UC Santa Barbara sealed the game with two runs in the top of the seventh, but more runs could have scored had it not been for a defensive web gem by Muren in the outfield once again. With two runs already in in the inning and a runner on first, Gaucho leftfielder Eligio hit a sinking liner to right center field. Charging the play and trying to keep the ball from resulting in likely extra bases, Muren ran across from his position in center field and dove to his left, snagging the ball just before it landed in the gap to end the inning.
The Matadors were able to get two singles in the bottom of the ninth by Allen and Marty Bowen, but could not chip away at the lead and lost 5-1.
UC Santa Barbara starting pitcher Matthew Vedo pitched a complete game in the victory, allowing one run on four hits while striking out nine.
The Matadors' next game will be on Tuesday, May 10 at San Diego State as they try to win the rubber match of the three game season series with the Aztecs. Northridge will return home for a Big West Conference series against UC Riverside beginning Friday, May 13 at 3 p.m.